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Children's Fiction Friendship

You and Me Both

by (author) Mahtab Narsimhan

illustrated by Lisa Cinar

Owlkids Books Inc.
Initial publish date
Apr 2020
Friendship, Imagination & Play, Diversity & Multicultural, Humorous Stories
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2020
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 3 to 6
  • Grade: p to 5


This is the story of two classmates who love all the same things: building tall block towers and knocking them down; strawberry jam on toast; jumping into big puddles in their matching boots. The narrator and his best friend, Jamal, might as well be twins—they have so much in common! And they always stick together.

When Jamal gets a haircut, his best friend gets his cut the same way. They’re sure their teacher will never be able to tell them apart. The vibrant, playful illustrations eventually reveal that the boys each have a different skin color.

Inspired by a true story that went viral on social media, about two boys with different skin colors who got the same haircut thinking it would make them identical, this is a joyful story about friendship, diversity, and how the things we share are more than skin-deep.

About the authors

Mahtab Narsimhan is the author of several critically acclaimed books, including Silver Birch Award winner The Third Eye. Her novel, The Tiffin (Dancing Cat Books, 2011), was nominated for numerous awards in Canada and was recently published in the United Kingdom and Taiwan. Mission Mumbai is her publishing debut in the United States. Mahtab is a native of Mumbai, India, and lives in Toronto, Canada. Visit her online at

Mahtab Narsimhan's profile page

LISA CINAR is an educator and the author and illustrator of two picture books, The Day It All Blew Away, nominated for the Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize, and Paulina P. (for Petersen). She also illustrated Bear’s Winter Party by Deborah Hodge and is the creator of Draw Me a Lion, a line of cards, prints and coloring accessories. She lives in Vancouver.


Lisa Cinar's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Written for little ones, the words are spare but the meaning is wonderfully clear. The bright and bold illustrations enhance every delightful page. This book is a standout!"

Mighty Village

"[Illustrations] hint at the ever-changing, ever-lively nature of childhood friendships by continually shifting the duo’s skin colors... As the title subtly suggests, the ideal “twin” doesn’t have to be carbon copy—just thoroughly simpatico."

Publishers Weekly

“The unnamed first-person narrator loves best friend Jamal, and Jamal loves the narrator, too. What is clear is that the pals like the same things, and they adore each other.”

Kirkus Reviews

"A classic tale of best friends right up until the end."

School Library Journal

Other titles by Mahtab Narsimhan

Other titles by Lisa Cinar